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Warmth and Accurate Articulation Makes This Set Shine

A Review On: AKG K545 Portable Over Ear Headphone

AKG K545 Portable Over Ear Headphone

Rated # 171 in Over-Ear
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Pros: Expansive Soundstage for closed backs, rich warm sound, accurate sound signature, detachable cables!

Cons: Personal Fit Issues

Background: While at college, I needed a high quality closed back set to drown out all of the ambient noise in college dorms. I have been using Sennheiser's exclusively for the past three years but the Momentum's did not interest me. I like a more industrial look for headphones and I wanted to progress into a more neutral signature to lift that Sennheiser veil. I was down to the Nad HP50's and the K545's and decided on the K545's (I thought the HP50's were ugly).


Packaging: I do not know why people care about packaging....  As long as I receive my cans here safely, I'm good. For those that do care, it was no frills basic packaging. It is not as fancy as the HP50's or Momentum's. 


Build: I bought the all black one's.They are absolutely gorgeous. Classy and refined while retaining bold quality to it.  I always thought Beat's were the best looking headphones (wish the sound quality matched their price tag) but these easily outshine them. I used to get stares at my HD439's to get regularly complimented by the K545's. Made of a mix of metal and plastics, it's quality absolutely holds up to the $250 price tag. They should have come with a case at this price point, though.


Comfort: By far my biggest con. The cups are a high quality leather and are extremely soft. It almost feels like a memory foam type material underneath. It has a pretty strong clamping force out of the box but it has subsided a bit with use. Although I have big ears, they within the diameter of the cups. However, The depth of the pads are far too shallow for me, leaving my ears rubbing on the driver. This results into discomfort after about 2 hours worth of continuous wear. I am in the process of buying replacement pads to resolve this! The Brainwavz HM5 Pads are deeper and bigger and fit the K545's. I am hoping these pads will resolve the fit issues.

     Update: With the clamping force subsiding, my ears do not rub as terribly as before. I will provide more updates on the new pads when they arrive.


Sound: I have my set plugged into my E10 DAC/Amp with 320Kbps files from Spotify. The sound truly is a wonderful experience. I would say this set's sound signature is neutral with a slight emphasis in bass. The bass shines and extends well and I definitely feel the impact on songs that call for it. Voices and instruments hold weight and have a rich quality to them. The sound is spacious with clear and articulate separation. I would best describe them as a more articulate/adept Shure SE215. The bass is more controlled and is better behaved than the SE215's, allowing the mid's and treble to come through. The mids on the K545's are perfect. Everything is clean and clear, providing a very smooth presentation. Treble was something I had to get used to coming from Sennheiser's recessed treble, "dark sound." However, they reveal subtleties within the music I have never experienced and for that, I enjoy the attention to detail without having that tinny, sibilance vibe.

       I feel they handle all genre's pretty well but fair better with more simplistic music. EDM/Dubstep bass wobbles and handles the abstract noises well. Jazz is silky smooth while rock remain raw and powerful. Classical shows how articulate the K545's are in instrument separation. On acoustic, they are just such an amazing experience. Every nuance is revealed providing an engaging and detailed account of the music playing. I caught myself getting lost in songs I have heard 100's of times. You can feel the emotion of artist's voice while feeling the vibrations of acoustic guitars slapping on the neck. Sometimes I am in awe by the clarity this set can reveal within the music. Little nuances like hearing feet tapping and minute ambient echo/reverb amount to an entirely new listening experience that made me fall in love with acoustic music all over again. This all results in a very natural, beautiful experience. It makes you forget about all the technology, advertisements, etc. and lets you focus and get lost in the music. It takes the tech our of the technology to focus on your music. What more can you want from a set? 


Final remarks: I 100% recommend them to anyone looking for a quality closed back set of headphones. These have become my go to set over my HD 439's and HD 558's. Fit issues aside, they have easily become my standard to compare other sets by. Get them, lose yourself in the music. 


do you find treble bothersome? I am thinking to upgrade to akg k550 from hd518, but am unsure if I will like treble.
I did not find it bothersome, just different compared to the typical Sennheiser sound. Once I adjusted to it, I really do enjoy the details the treble brings.
Did the replacement pads help?? Did they fit?
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